‘Gloria’ Review: In the Cold War Espionage Circle at the Portuguese RARET headquarters

We’ve seen many Cold War spy shows, from shows from the ’60s like Spy City to shows from the ’80s like The American. But neither of them took place on radio stations dedicated to spreading Western European propaganda in the communist east.

Joao was drinking at the bar in the RARET complex when he saw the girl’s reflection in his photo. Then he disappeared. It seems that the hero Amaral Ursula will be heavily involved in this story. But is he Joao’s swindler, or does he know more than he allows?

He was a Russian general who travelled to Radio Free Europe headquarters to record a request to Russian troops. Not to enter Czechoslovakia on behalf of the Soviets. When a car is moving a roll of tape to a new location. It is kidnapped by two masked men with guns.

Courier handed over the tape.

Forty-eight hours earlier in Lisbon, Joao Vidal (Miguel Nunez). The son of the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs. It wants to leave his parents’ villa to go to the middle of nowhere in a village called Gloria to do. He was looking for a new job Ribatejo.

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He would work for RARET, a secret division of Radio Free Europe that broadcasts the station’s programming in communist countries. He had car s*x last night with Ursula (Carolina Amaral), a translator who often works for RARET.

When he arrives at Gloria, he meets American chef James Wilson (Matt Rippi). And has dinner in town with his old friend from Goncalo College (Afonso Pimentel), an engineer there. Engineers are hired at RARET because they have to act when boards discover and interfere with the frequencies they use. At dinner with Goncalo, Joao buys a razor from a truck but gets to meet and photograph a girl.

Yes, Joao is a KGB spy. His job was to be one of the men in the car capturing footage of the more or less deserted general. But the courier has already given the tape to a US federal agent (Jimmy Taenaka); Joao’s tapes contained only music.

The backup plan had Ursula called to RARET to translate the tapes before broadcast. That way, he could “visit” him in the studio, where he translated. And if he and Goncalo were distracted by a broken pipe (broken by Joao), he could swap tapes.

Pedro Lopez, who created Gloria, created the world around João well:

In a somewhat unusual setting for a spy series. Instead of revolving around weapons or military matters, the intrigue revolves around the information and whose property. By putting the show on RARET, we are shown aspects of the Cold War that existed at the time. But people didn’t know much about it.

This is the most exciting part of the story. With no backdrop, the show is standard Cold War-era espionage mystery. With people you wouldn’t expect to be spies working for one side (or both). There is the usual confusion about who works for whom. But where Joao’s loyalty lies is quite clear at the end of the first episode. And the fact that he had pretty close ties to the Portuguese government. It is to his advantage and disadvantage.

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It’s also interesting in this series; How did Joao turn to the Soviets? And what was his motivation for opposing his father’s regime? All of this, plus the increasingly complex spy games. It will fuel this season’s drama and, hopefully, the energy the first episode shows will continue.

Glória takes standard Cold War espionage drama and places it in a unique setting. That provides several compelling scenarios for missions to be completed and thwarted.